Meet the Mighties: Kevin Bowler

The 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards are ready to be collected. So if you feel you’ve performed heroic feats of marketing over the past year, take a leaf out of Kevin Bowler’s book, submit an entry before the deadline of 5pm Friday and you could also be Mighty Marketing material. 

1. If you were collecting your own set of Mighty Marketers, whether from this market or from around the world, who would you choose and why?

This might seem strange, but my set of mighty marketers would be product heroes from firms like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Market success is being re-centred on product design coupled with deep consumer insight.  

2. What are some of your favourite local or international marketing initiatives? And why do they stand out?

What stands out for me are the paradigm shifts. Our best local example that comes to mind is Trade Me. They demonstrated outstanding understanding of consumer behaviour, harnessed what was a new technology, moved fast to gain critical mass, and revolutionised peer to peer business. We’re now seeing the same paradigm shifts emerge in capital raising, taxi services, micro-loans, etc.

What’s stunning about Apple in mobile is the pace and depth of change. Ten years ago smart phones were almost exclusively business tools dominated by Blackberry and consumer phones were largely Nokias for under $199. Then Apple changed everything, in a virtual instant.

I also admire the automation steps Air New Zealand has introduced to smooth the check in processes for air travel. Although it’s probably only been a year or two I can’t imagine not having the Air New Zealand app to get me through the airport quickly and effortlessly. I’m sure there’s more to come and every well executed step builds deeper loyalty (and for some of us, dependency).  

3. How has marketing changed in your career? And what skills do you require to be a Mighty Marketer these days?

One thing has stayed the same: the importance of understanding customers. This remains at the heart of great marketing thinking, although it’s got a lot harder as segments of the market have universally become more diverse and changes have accelerated. 

Channels to market have changed radically making mass reach much more challenging, and at the same time creating new opportunities for small brands and for rapid internationalisation. Great marketers need to have more agility than ever and they need to genuinely embrace data.

4. You’ve won plenty of industry accolades in your time. What are the benefits of collecting your own award, either for your own career or for the industry as a whole?

Who doesn’t like being recognised for their success? It’s a valuable and brave process to submit work and results for independent assessment, and the winners will deserve their recognition. 

  • The deadline for submitting entries is 5pm Friday 22 May 2015. Click here to download entry forms. But never fear, there is also an extended ‘late entries’ deadline of 5pm Friday 29 May 2015 at an additional cost of $150 + GST per entry. To qualify for the late entries deadline, please apply in writing to the events team by emailing ​[email protected] by 12pm Friday 22 May 2015.
  • In honour of the collectables trend—and as a way to celebrate some of the industry’s best performers—we’re offering an incentive to get people to collect the whole set of 13 Mighty Marketers. So take a photo of a minimum of five of the 13 characters, either by collecting cards from the May/June edition of NZ Marketing or downloading files of marketers from stories on StopPress and printing them out, send it to [email protected] or Tweet us @stoppressnz with the hashtag #MightyMarketers and you’ll go in to the draw to win two tickets to the awards and one night at the Langham (with breakfast). We’ll let you know about the inevitable swap meets and black markets on TradeMe.

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